17 Jan

Pollinator Census

first_imgMore than 4,000 Georgians in 133 counties participated in the nation’s first statewide pollinator census, logging more than 133,963 insect interactions.The deadline for logging counts from the Aug. 23-24 pollinator count was Wednesday at midnight. Georgians logged 4,567 counts during the groundbreaking citizen science exercise.“I think the story now is how excited people were to participate,” said Becky Griffin, school and community garden coordinator for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the pollinator count organizer. “I have heard several times that people will never look at their gardens the same way again and that slowing down for 15 minutes to look at the insects was eye-opening.“I am so very, very grateful for all of the Georgia citizens who were willing to give up their time to support our pollinators.”Each participant spent 15 minutes focusing on one individual blooming plant. They tallied the number of insects and the types of insects they witnessed during those 15 minutes and then recorded and reported the type of plant they selected, the time of day, the weather and their location.Griffin is working with other pollinator experts to crunch the data to look for trends about which pollinators were most populous in different parts of the state. Citizen scientists from every corner the state — from southwest Georgia woodlands to downtown Atlanta — participated in the count. Once analyzed, the results should provide a needed benchmark for the state’s native pollinator population. Future censuses will help track the health of Georgia pollinators.Pollinators, both domestic and wild, contribute about $367 million to the Georgia economy each year, according to a 2015 study by UGA economists.Griffin modeled the program on the Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen science program run by Cornell University that asks people to count the birds they see in their backyard on a given winter day. Hopefully, the Great Georgia Pollinator Census will become an annual tradition for families and gardening groups, much like the backyard bird count.In addition to the data generated by the census, Griffin wanted the count to serve as an educational experience for Georgians. After spending 15 minutes focused on one plant to count pollinators, many participants reported having a new respect for their backyard or garden ecosystems, Griffin said.In addition to hundreds of adult volunteers, thousands of school children participated in the count. At Colham Ferry Elementary School in Watkinsville, Georgia, STEM teacher Diane Parr’s students practiced for two weeks leading up to the count. When the day came, they were excited to make history, but they ended up wowed by what they witnessed in the garden.“The pollinator count opened the eyes of my students to the importance of every living thing on Earth, including the tiniest insects,” Parr said.While it was hard to stay still and count for 15 minutes, each student came away with a new appreciation of the tiny world that exists on the plants in the school garden, Parr added.“The educational part of this project is just as important as the data,” said Kris Braman, professor and head of the Department of Entomology at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, after finishing her on-campus count Aug. 23. “It’s a wonderful chance for people to learn more about the pollinators in their yards, what’s really happening to them, and how they can support them.”Griffin plans to publish insights from the census on the Great Georgia Pollinator Census website as well as in traditional academic journals. To keep up with the latest news from the census, join the Great Georgia Pollinator Census Group on Facebook.last_img read more

17 Sep

Expert calls stability possible for Afghanistan

first_imgThough the fault lines of state building in today’s post-Taliban Afghanistan might seem difficult to comprehend to some,  USC Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek shed light on the challenges the Middle Eastern nation faces in a late Wednesday afternoon lecture.Rasuly-Paleczek explored reasons behind the current plight of international and national efforts to stabilize the country and proposed possible solutions for the road that lies ahead.“In the West, but also within Afghanistan and neighboring countries, people are quite puzzled that despite more than a decade of efforts to stabilize the country … nothing could really be achieved,” Rasuly-Paleczek said. “Beginning with the bond process in 2001, which highlighted the idea of recreating a highly centralized Afghan state, this model is totally inadequate … From my perspective, using this model of centralized state already is a type of malconception. It does not take into account that Afghanistan has changed.”Afghanistan has led a tumultuous history leading up to present day, from early Islamization and the Mongol invasion to dynastic cycles to the Soviet war, civil war and now, the end to a decade-long U.S.-led war.Despite the nation’s troubled history, Rasuly-Paleczek said she believes that a stable future is possible.“A balancing of power can best be achieved not by a centralized model, but a federative system to give more voice to the various regions of the country,” Rasuly-Paleczek said.However, according to Rasuly-Paleczek, a federative model was never taken into account because of the tradition of a strong state.“Despite all the problems, I think an amendment of the constitution is necessary,” Rasuly-Paleczek  said. “We must find, in order to solve this problem, trust-building and concrete resolution mechanisms on several levels. But there are different approaches. Some are saying that the regions should be involved. Others are saying it should be people who are outside this whole conflict, but it should not be Iran or Pakistan.”There are changes that have occurred over time that must also be taken into account as Afghanistan continues to build its state, Rasuly-Paleczek added.“At the end of the 19th century, both superpowers at that time agreed on Afghanistan being a vassal state, whereas now, it’s not clear … Iran and, in particular, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia could play a role, and that was not the case in the 19th century,” Rasuly-Paleczek said. “People are yearning for peace and recently, putting aside conflicts, like tabula rasa.”For freshman international relations major Luke Phillips, stability is an almost unattainable concept in the current political state of Afghanistan.“The way things have been going on right now, regardless of what kind of sentiments that people want to have happen, I think the forces of history are just too strong,” Phillips said. “I suppose if there is a holistic government involving the Taliban, then that would bring more stability then they’ve had since 2001, but I don’t think there would be sufficient democracy-building.”Others, including Professor of Anthropology Erin Moore, remain hopeful for the region.“There are a lot of countries that are just as diverse, like India, that have come from a place of many separate kingdoms, and they were able to come together into a peaceful nation,” Moore said. “Just because [Afghanistan’s] so diverse and has a history of diverse kingdoms doesn’t mean that it can’t be a nation-state in the near future.”For Lynn Matthews, an attendee of the lecture, the potential solutions are a confirmation of what the Afghan population hopes for. Matthews visited Afghanistan in September, and said she saw the people’s desire to find peace firsthand.“The one continuous theme in every school that I visited, from Mazar-e-Sharif to Jalalabad, they wanted peace, and you know, I told these kids, you guys are the future of Afghanistan,” Matthews said. “I just want to believe, and I hope and pray that if we could encourage more education there, it’s going to pull people out of this militant thing going on and make them focus on education, stopping this war and moving on to live in peace.”last_img read more

8 Sep

More MLB games postponed in response to racial injustice

first_img Written By COMMENT Last Updated: 28th August, 2020 07:04 IST More MLB Games Postponed In Response To Racial Injustice In a typically awkward way, Major League Baseball has been pulled into America’s discussion about racial injustice. Some teams are playing. Some aren’t. Some have played with individual players sitting out In a typically awkward way, Major League Baseball has been pulled into America’s discussion about racial injustice. Some teams are playing. Some aren’t. Some have played with individual players sitting out.But across the sport, one theme became clear: Baseball shouldn’t avoid potentially difficult conversations and decisions regarding social issues. Though the process may be imperfect, there was agreement that coaches, players and teams should speak their mind.“This is at the forefront now,” said Oakland infielder Tony Kemp, who is Black. “By sitting out tonight’s game, I feel like it’s just a small building block of what we want to see. These couple days are historic times in sports. One day our kids are going to look back and ask us what was going on and what did we do to help bring awareness to these issues in the world and we’re going to say, ‘One game we just decided not to play.’”Oakland’s game at Texas was among four that were postponed Thursday afternoon, along with Philadelphia at Washington, Minnesota at Detroit and Boston at the Blue Jays in Buffalo, New York.Some players, including St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty, were frustrated there wasn’t a more unified response.“It’s tough because yesterday would have been the day for league-wide action, and it wasn’t able to happen league-wide yesterday,” Flaherty said. “Hopefully it could happen today, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be able to happen today.”The decisions not to play Thursday night came a day after three MLB games were postponed in response to the police shooting of a Black man, 29-year-old Jacob Blake, in Wisconsin last weekend.“We respect the decision by the Oakland A’s players to postpone tonight’s game,” the Rangers said in a statement less than three hours before the scheduled first pitch. “We stand with all those who condemn racial injustice and are committed to helping bring about an end to systemic racism.”A statement from The Players Alliance, which consists of more than 100 current and former Black players, said current players will donate their salaries from Thursday and Friday in “supporting our efforts to combat racial inequality and aid the Black families and communities deeply affected in the wake of recent events.”Baseball has dealt with a slow decline in the number of Black players for decades. In recent seasons, the percentage of Black players has hovered around 8%. For a sport that proudly recognizes Jackie Robinson — who broke MLB’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers — the decline has been frustrating for some.Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Friday. It’s normally on April 15 but was moved because of the COVID-19-altered schedule to Aug. 28, which is the anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963 and also the day in 1945 when Dodgers GM Branch Rickey met with Robinson to discuss breaking the color barrier.”I think he would be amazed at the lack of progress in his eyes,” said Milwaukee’s Lorenzo Cain, who is Black. “I don’t know personally what he went through but I know the stories. I know for a fact it wasn’t easy for him to be in the situation he was in. He paved the way for guys like me to go out and play this game and be in this position today. I’ll always thank him for that.“The fact we’re talking about this in 2020, I don’t see the progress in that. It’s almost like we’re going backwards.”Texas manager Chris Woodward said there were some individual conversations with his players before Wednesday’s game and they were OK playing. He said then that the Rangers were going to “fully support” any of their players who decided not to play, and the same for the A’s if they decided not to play.The three games postponed Wednesday — the Cincinnati Reds and Brewers in Milwaukee, Seattle Mariners and Padres in San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco — were being made up as part of doubleheaders Thursday.Those baseball postponements came after the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks didn’t come out on the floor for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. NBA officials later announced that all three of the day’s scheduled playoff games had been postponed, and games scheduled Thursday also weren’t played.MLS and WNBA games were also postponed.___AP Baseball Writers Janie McCauley and Stephen Hawkins, and AP Sports Writers Jay Cohen, Jake Seiner, Dave Campbell, Howard Fendrich and Steve Megargee contributed to this report.Image credit: AP SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW UScenter_img First Published: 28th August, 2020 07:04 IST LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News last_img read more

14 May

Schwartzman and Pella advance to semifinals in Buenos Aires

first_imgUruguayan tennis participant Pablo Cuevas beat the Spaniard Albert Ramos and certified to the quarterfinals of the Argentine Open, in addition to the locals Juan Ignacio Londero, Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella.Cuevas received 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4 and in the following occasion will play in opposition to Schwartzman, that at daybreak on Friday he received his compatriot Federico Delbonis 6-3, 4-6 and 6-2.Pella beat Argentine Argentine Facundo Bagnis by 7 (7) – (2) 6, 6 (2) -7 (7) and 6-4. In quarters he’ll face Londero, who eradicated the Serbian Laslo Djere by beating him by 6 (3) -7 (7), 6-2 and 6-1.The opposite matches of the quarterfinals will probably be performed by the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in opposition to the Portuguese Pedro Sousa and the Serbian Dusan Lajovic in opposition to the Norwegian Casper Ruud.The Argentine Open, which is performed on clay on the Buenos Aires Garden Tennis Membership, will finish this Sunday.last_img read more

24 Dec

FOUR CAR SMASH AT AUGHNACLOY CAUSES MASSIVE TAILBACKS

first_imgA FOUR car collision has caused long delays for Donegal fans returning home from Croke Park this evening.Motorists are advised to take alternative routes if possible.There were no serious injuries. PSNI officers are also patrolling other routes through Tyrone. FOUR CAR SMASH AT AUGHNACLOY CAUSES MASSIVE TAILBACKS was last modified: September 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more